Nathalie Deboel calls her job a privilege. Being an interior designer is a big responsibility, but at the same time it is a pleasure for her to see what she can do and what her work means for others. It motivates her and her team to create something unique with every new project.
"Interiors and living in a beautiful, serene environment are to me the basis for a happy life," says Nathalie. It is very important for the designer to furnish spaces in such a way that the residents are surrounded by beautiful objects and that everything is well organized as a counterbalance to their busy and hectic lives. It’s important to note that most of her realisations are located by the coast and in the peaceful surroundings of Knokke. Nathalie herself – as she puts it – 'washed ashore’ here a few years ago and she found it the ideal place to found her own office here at the age of 35 after having gained experience at other companies – Obumex, Massimo Dutti, Flammand. She feels like a fish in the water here and has been entrusted with the renovation of a lot of residences, holiday homes and second homes in recent years. Her clients are mainly like-minded people who demand a timeless and relaxing interior.
Trust and empathy
Interior design is Nathalie Deboel's greatest passion. It is a way of life and she would gladly give up part of her free time for it. However, it is first and foremost her job and not a hobby: "The great responsibility towards the work to be done, the empathy towards your clients, the psychology, the eye for detail and the constant curiosity about materials, concepts, atmospheres, etc. ensure that you cannot venture into interior architecture as a hobby, but that you can only consider it as a professional occupation." Not only is it extremely important to be surrounded by the right team of professionals and artists who can keep to the set timing and budget. According to Nathalie it is the essence and also the biggest challenge of this profession to look again and again with a fresh eye and to listen to the clients with a curious ear. "You have to read the house, understand it and turn the owner’s wishes into a new home."
"You have to read the house, understand it and turn the owner’s wishes into a new home."
Nathalie knows that every client, every family is unique and she is open to different lifestyles and different types of homes. The resident must be at the centre of the project, which is why she calls her design process a 'tailor-made philosophy'. She makes the following comparison: "A house has to fit like a wonderfully cosy coat." It should not only be beautiful to look at, but it should also have a good and practical feel for the owner and meet the requirements of his/her life. These are tasks that you don't take lightly and that's why Nathalie is so grateful for every chance she gets, for the trust that is placed in her.
"A house has to fit like a wonderfully cosy coat."
Every project needs the right preparation. This starts with an initial interview in which the designer visits the house and will check up on the necessary points that need to be tackled. "We discuss what our added value can be for in the home and for the lives of the clients," explains Nathalie. After that, a mood board is created and the project is worked out in more detail. On the basis of the preliminary design, the ideas are explained and the owner can give feedback, after which a detailed planning and budget are established.
Understanding the client and the empathy that Nathalie Deboel pays so much attention to, are important factors throughout the process. For her, an interior is only finished when clients have brought in their personal touches. "These can be the books in the library, the works of art on the wall, a piano that is being played, ...".